Island Life Surrounded By Ice - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Island Life Surrounded By Ice

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TANGIER ISLAND, Va. - The ice is still surrounding Tangier Island making getting to it by boat impossible.  But folks who call the island home say being stuck on the island for a few days is nothing new and they are doing just fine.

The shelves are still stocked at the island's grocery store and the golf carts are still running.  The ice has made things a bit inconvenient on Tangier, but life goes on.

"This is nothing new.  I mean, it's been a long time since it's been this bad but, you get the weather report well in advance and you, you prepare for it," said Tangier Island Mayor, James "Ooker" Eskridge.

And the mayor says being stuck for a few days on the island, unable to get to Crisfield for supplies, is nothing new.

"Hurricane season.  I mean we have storms so rough and windy that no boats can come or go.  No planes or choppers can come in.  So, you know, we're stranded, it doesn't have to be ice," said Eskridge.

While the ice has made getting on and off the island tough, it has also made work as a waterman difficult as well.  The winter weather and inches of ice in the water has put a freeze on the watermen's season.

"It's getting to the point where we are ready to go back to work.  But, you know, if we have to wait another week... we ain't got but one more week left in our season.  So, really hoping to get back to work next week," said Gary Parks of Tangier Island.

But no matter the frigid temperatures, frozen water ways, or tough work schedule, folks who call Tangier Island home say there is no place in the world they'd rather live.

"It's all I know," said Parks.  "My work is here, my whole family is here.  It's just a way of life."

The Mayor of Tangier Island tells WBOC the Virginia Coast Guard icebreaker is scheduled to arrive in Tangier on Friday afternoon or evening and then cut a path to Crisfield so islanders can resupply on food and medicines.  The ice breaker should go a long way in making things a little bit more normal on the island.

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